Written by X. G. Lu, S. Q. Sun, and R. Dodds
Published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers
Sourced from the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference, 11-13 April, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, 2016
Copyright: 2016. Society of Petroleum Engineers


This paper presents the basic reservoir characteristics and the key improved oil recovery/enhanced oil recovery (IOR/EOR) methods for sandstone reservoir fields that have achieved recovery factors toward 70%. The study is based on a global analogue knowledge base and associated analytical tools. The knowledge base contains both static (STOIIP, primary and ultimate recovery factors, reservoir/fluid properties, well spacing, drive mechanism, and IOR/EOR methods etc.) and dynamic data (oil rate, water-cut, and GOR, etc.) for more than 730 sandstone oil reservoirs. These reservoirs were subdivided into two groups: heavy and conventional oil reservoirs. This study focuses on the reservoirs with recovery factors great than 50% for heavy oil, and recovery factors from 60% to 79% for conventional oil with a view to understand the key factors for such a high recovery efficiency. These key factors include reservoir and fluid properties, wettability, development strategies and the IOR/EOR methods.

The high ultimate recovery factors for heavy oil reservoirs are attributed to excellent reservoir properties, horizontal well application, high efficiency of cyclic steam stimulating (CSS) and steam flood, and very tight well spacing (P50 value of 4 acres, as close as 0.25 acres) development strategy. The 51 high recovery conventional clastic reservoirs are characterised by favourable reservoir and fluid properties, water-wet or mixed-wet wettability, high net to gross ratio, and strong natural aquifer drive mechanism. Infill drilling and water flood led to an incremental recovery of 20% to 50%. EOR technologies, such as CO2 miscible and polymer flood, led to an incremental recovery of 8% to 15%. Homogeneous sandstone reservoirs with a good lateral correlation can reach 79% final recovery through water flood and adoption of close well spacing.

The lessons learned and best practices from the global analogue reservoir knowledge base can be used to identify opportunities for reserve growth of mature fields. With favourable reservoir conditions, it is feasible to move final recovery factor toward 70% through integrating good reservoir management practices with the appropriate IOR/EOR technology.

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